Music is a methodical combination of instrumental and vocal sounds. Music is a genre. Music has power. It has power to change, and power to herald change. Music appeals to the sub-conscious part of the mind and causes it to send impulses to the muscles. Thus, when people sing, or when you listen to music, you find yourself nodding to the rhythm of the song without thinking. The goodness of music is not felt with the tongue; it is felt through the skin!
During the struggle for freedom in South Africa, the oppressed sung the “Nkosi Sikelela i-Afrika” (Nguni for “God bless Africa”). With this song, they expressed a desire for freedom and the restoration of African dignity. Indeed, music is good for those in struggle because it energises them; it restores their hope and gives purpose to their endeavours. In Zimbabwe, every morning at five o’clock, the national radio station, Zimbabwe FM, sings the national anthem-“Phakamisani ifulegi yeZimbabwe” (Zulu for “lift ye the Zimbabwean flag”). In this song are contained the aspirations of our nation, its history, its geographical endowments and the general national consciousness. We used to sing songs of celebration during our childhood. When the rains poured in early November, we would dash to the open of our homestead and shout to the skies: “Zulu, zulu nana sidl’ amabhece” (Come ye rain so that we eat the gourds”). This was a song of celebration for the coming of the rain season.
Music is powerful. My grandmother once told me that when she sings in church, she feels the Holy Spirit moving about! She feels uplifted. She feels blessed! During the time I was a baby, my mother sung lullabies to quieten me to a deep sleep. She would sing: “Su su, thula sana thula” (Quieten child quieten!”). This was a song to stop me from crying. Those crying need a song to quieten, those in victory need a song to celebrate victory; those in anguish need a song to see hope in bereavement, and those in love need a song to tighten their bond of love. Even the angels sing holy, holy in praise of the Almighty up in heaven! What song do you have this morning? Is it a song of sorrow, celebration, love and revolution? You all have songs to sing. Music is good. Let’s sing along!